TBT the 80’s – it’s Rewind Festival!

It’s finally here, the weekend that all of us real music lovers have been looking forward to. The time has come to dig out our leg-warmers, don the broad shoulder pads and style the biggest of backcombed hair-do’s.

That’s right, we’re talking Rewind Festival… An overwhelming supply of eighties music is about to hit Perth and it’s a big one… we can’t wait!

Headliners include 80’s icons; Tony Hadley, ABC, Adam Ant, Holly Johnson, Big Country, but most importantly, the good people at Rewind have managed to secure the best of the best, the epitome of 80’s music and a British national treasure… the one and only – Rick Astley.

Astley’s career has taken a somewhat unlikely revival over recent years. The art of ‘Rickrolling’ has allowed for Rick to make a full comeback to the music scene, and what a comeback it has been, with him clinching the UK’s number one album spot this June – beating much less talented artists like Paul McCartney and Tom Odell to the post. We knew you could do it Rick.

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The internet phenomenon known as Rickrolling started in 2007, twenty years after the release of Astley’s unforgettable and fantastic track ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. The craze saw people being tricked into gave people the surprise gift of watching Rick Astley videos on YouTube when they had actually clicked on more enticingly-labelled links. As a result, his ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ YouTube video has now been viewed over 216 million times.

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June was a mixed bag of emotions for Astley fans and for Rick himself, at the start of the month he was dealt the devastating blow that a lorry load of his new albums had been sabotaged by vandals. The van was travelling through Calais when the stowaways on-board decided to amuse themselves by destroying the cargo of Rick’s hard work. It was thought that this could’ve had a detrimental effect on Astley’s comeback, in what was no doubt a very difficult time for him.

It’s unknown whether the attack was a protest by foreign music snobs or just a depraved act of mindless violence. What is known is that they couldn’t keep our Rick down for long, he bounced back from this crime against fine music within a week, to take his well-earned place at the number one spot.

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The vandals’ poor-taste (both musically and morally) would’ve left Rick feeling like he wanted to give up. Fortunately, they are in the minority with their badly-tuned ears as Rick has received an abundance of support from fans. In 2008 Rick was named the ‘Best Act Ever’ at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Honoured Astley received over 100 million votes which was more than all of the other winners that night combined.

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Almost thirty years after Astley first dominated the music scene, we will be treated some new sounds from his album ‘50’ at the Rewind Festival. Alongside the highly regarded artists, attendees will enjoy a funfair, an inflatable church, and a silent disco. What more could anyone ask for?!

 

Odd Balls – Weird Golfing Facts

Colin Montgomerie teed off the British Open for its 145th tournament this morning, to a nightmare double bogey start… but hey – at least it’s sunny! Golf’s longest-standing competition is being held at Scotland’s Royal Troon course this year, with players competing to become the winner of the coveted Claret Jug.8

If like us, you don’t know your bogey from your birdie or your eagle from your albatross (we only just got our heads around the offside rule for the Euro’s), there really is no better time to brush up on some fun golfing facts…

 

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Golf is one of only two sports (alongside the javelin throw) to have ever been played on the moon. Back in 1971, Alan Shepard smuggled a make-shift six-iron on to the Apollo 14 because he wanted to do something special while on the moon – no point doing things by halves Alan!

Shepard contacted a local club pro in Houston, who connected the head of a six-iron to the shaft of a piece of rock collecting equipment. Shepard covered the club with a sock so it wouldn’t be found before launch. He reckons the ball went about 200 yards, but he could only hit it with one hand because of his pressure suit.

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The hole-in-one insurance:

In Japan it is fairly common for golfers to carry a ‘hole-in-one’ insurance policy. The Japanese custom following a hole-in-one is to share the good luck by throwing a party, complete with gifts for friends and family. This can be a fairly expensive affair, so they cover themselves with some insurance.

Of course, the insurance companies have calculated that the actual chance of an average golfer scoring a hole-in-one is approximately 12,500 to one, so it seems they have the upper hand there.

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Golf balls:

Up until the mid-19th century, (around the time of The Open’s first ever tournament) golf balls were typically made of feathers… The feathers were boiled and stuffed into a little leather pouch, the pouch was then sewn up into a ball shape. FYI: If you happen to be golfing with one of these heirlooms, an 1845 J.Gourlay feathery recently sold for £5000 at auction!

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Have you ever wondered why today’s golf balls have all those little dimples? Well, the dimples are there to reduce turbulence and they allow the ball to travel further than a completely smooth ball. Surprisingly, these little balls can have anywhere between 330 to 500 dimples.

 

So there we have it, some fun facts that even the most unseasoned of golfers can drop into an Open conversation… Of course if The Open has inspired you to take up golf, come join us up at Culcrieff Golf Club or for something completely different try out our disc golf!

T in the Park!!

It’s festival time! T in the Park is finally here and many of you will be stuffing your sleeping bag into its disproportionately tiny sack, packing provisions and practicing setting up your tent as we speak, in preparation for the big weekend ahead.

T in the Park 2011

But for those of you clever people who have opted to rest your head here at the Hydro rather than in blue 1, yellow 3 or green 4, we’ve got 7 top tips for you…

  1. Sadly, T in the Park/Scotland in general hasn’t got the best reputation for being a suntrap. While T has occasionally been known to be a sunny affair, with many a shirtless pink Scotsman spotted making the most of it, it’s best to pack for all eventualities. Wellies are a popular footwear option and a mac in a sack is a must have.

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  1. Book a wake-up call. Ask reception when you check in, you’ll want a good night’s sleep but you don’t want to miss the main event!
  2. Fuel up! You’re about to embark on a whole weekend of chaotic fun so it’s good to start on a full stomach. Breakfast is included with your room fee so fill up on haggis, bacon, cereal, fruit or whatever you want from our hot and cold buffet… You’ll have peace of mind that you’ve had at least one substantial meal this weekend.
  3. Next up is transport – City Link have got it covered running busses between Crieff and T in the Park regularly throughout the weekend. The journey is roughly half an hour, so just enough time to get that festival feeling
  4. You’ve been out raving all day, unfortunately, the constant state of fist pumping inevitably takes its toll. Take some down time before embarking on another day of festivities and book in for a relaxing massage or a new BABOR facial treatment at our spa.

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  1. Finally, rehydration will be top of the agenda after the weekend’s revelry. Make sure to book in to the Victorian Spa where you can relax, revive and replenish your energy to take the edge off those festival blues before heading home.
  2. Don’t forget your tickets!

I scream, you scream, we all scream ICE CREAM MONTH!

 July is National Ice Cream Month. A month where we are free to graze, guilt-free, on outrageous amounts of ice cream in order to celebrate the existence of the chilly treat… bring on the Magnums!

Everyone likes ice cream. Ice cream can be used in any situation by anyone. Its qualities are endless. It’s the perfect pudding – even after five courses, there’s always room for a cheeky ice cream.

Ice cream really is the Swiss army knife of desserts. It kicks all other puddings out of the park in terms of its adaptability. It can be used for happy occasions – on holidays, celebrating a sunny day or just treating yourself.

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Medically, it is the food of choice for aiding the pain of tooth ache and removed tonsils.

Emotionally, it can be used to support us throughout times of strife. The reliable friend by our side during those painful break ups where we may have been guilty of demolishing several tubs of the delicious dairy delight…

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So, who do we have to thank for this month of appreciation for frozen creamy goodness?!

Ronald Reagan, that’s who. In 1984 while in office as President of America, Ronald Reagan deemed it appropriate to devote a whole month to celebrating the pudding, and declared that “Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food… It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food.” He called on people of America to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities”.

 

While we’re not sure where Mr Reagan was getting his nutritional information from, it seems rude to just ignore the president’s wishes but (and here comes the only issue with ice cream…) where to begin? Gelato, fro-yo, sorbet, ice lollies, ice creams, waffle cones, sprinkles, sauces… it’s enough to give you brain freeze!

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Here at the Hydro, if you nip up to the Winter Garden, there’s a range of Stewart Tower ice cream. Stewart Tower is produced only 18 miles from our front door (we like to keep it local). Originally a dairy farm, Stewart Tower decided to move into using their Holstein cow milk to produce high quality ice cream. The ice cream is made to an Italian gelato style recipe and the farmers are churning out around 200 different flavours, from the classic strawberry and raspberry ripples to Bakewell Tart, muesli and Crème Egg. Thankfully we’ve narrowed all those flavours down to just five delicious options.

In our Piccolo restaurant, we serve the award winning Jannetta’s Gelato. Jannetta’s Gelateria is an Italian family business that first opened in nearby St Andrews in 1908 and has been operating from the same spot since! On top of their 54 varieties of premium ice cream flavours, they also sell a range of flavours of sorbet and frozen yoghurt which we have available in our restaurant from time to time.

Feel free to give them a visit to sample their extensive ranges, it is ice cream month after all!Ronald-Reagan-feature

The Return of the Ring of Breadalbane Explorer

It’s summer again, that means one thing – the return of the Ring of Breadalbane Explorer. The award winning mini-bus is due to return for its fifth season, this Sunday – rolling around the Rings of Breadalbane.

The ‘hop-on, hop-off’ service will be running every Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday throughout summer, until 28th September.

Breadalbane is the undiscovered heart of Scotland, home to lochs, mountains and some hidden beauties of nature and history. It can be accessed by a network of quiet roads and paths which weave their way through the Breadalbane countryside.

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Known as the Rings of Breadalbane, these roads and paths are perfect routes for walking, road cycling and trail biking, letting you explore this beautiful area of Scotland.

The Breadalbane Explorer welcomes dogs and bikes on board, providing the means for walkers, cyclists and mountain bikers to enjoy sections of the Rings of Breadalbane as linear routes. Walkers and cyclers can meet back at the drop off point or reconnect with the bus at a farther point between 9am-9pm.

Ring of Breadalbane Explorer bus

The bus connects Crieff, Comrie, St Fillans, Lochearnhead, Killin, Kenmore, Acharn and Aberfeldy on a circular route. It offers residents and visitors a day out, taking passengers through the spectacular highland scenery of Breadalbane and stopping at all major visitor attractions along the route.

The bus stops at Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre – one of our ‘Top 10 Things we love’ and perfect for a day out with the family. There’s plenty to do and see, from ball pools and tractor circuits to real-life tartan sheep!

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Next up Highland Safaris – seek out red deer, the famous grouse and golden eagles as you travel through forests, mountains and moors on private hill tracks with your very own kilted safari ranger.

Stop in for a wee dram at Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distilltery, or bounce back in time to the Scottish Crannog Centre and discover what life was like in a loch dwelling 2500 years ago.

For bikers, the bus stops at Comrie Croft – Perthshire’s mountain biking and hiking destination.

 

The Ring of Breadalbane Explorer picks up and drops off right here at Crieff Hydro, so it’s perfect for exploring beautiful Breadalbane.

 

 

Bike Week, we salute you!

It’s already half way through June, uh-oh… how did that happen?! Holiday season is well under way and somewhere along the line, our gym motivation fell by the wayside… Oops.

If you’re in the same boat as us, it’s not too late (we hope!) because Bike Week is upon us, and what better way to cram in those finishing touches to our summer bodies than with a week of pedalling off the pounds.

The idea behind this year’s nationwide event is to encourage ‘everyday cycling for everyone’. So for those of you who are chomping at the bit to get out there, only to be thwarted by a flat tyre – the people at Bike Week have got you covered – How to fix a puncture tutorial  – so no excuses!

Cycling is good on so many levels. It will save you money if you can use it in place of the car, it’s definitely better for the environment, but most importantly you’ll burn off some of those pesky calories – what’s not to love?

Whether it be just for fun, commuting or hard-core exercise we’ve put together some of our favourite cycle routes around Crieff.

  1. Three routes – one superb view. You can borrow a bike here at the Hydro and take on one of our tracks around ‘The Knock’ (that steep wooded hill overlooking Crieff). Whether out for a leisurely ride, or ready to try something a bit more tricky, we’ve got a route to suit.

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  1. Of course we have to mention Crieff’s big cycling community project – the Muthill to Crieff path. This route is a work in progress. Opened in April, the Muthill to Templemill section is a self-contained route which opens up to more walking and cycling opportunities.

It is the first phase of the Crieff Community Trust project which aims to create a direct off-road path between Muthill and Crieff. If you’d like to know more about the project, take a look at the Facebook page

  1. Willing to go a little further afield to take in some classic Scottish scenery? Only a 45-minute drive from Crieff is the 17-mile Loch Tay route. Starting in Killin, this hilly track lets you take in beautiful views of the surrounding mountains while cycling around the loch. Find out more about The Loch Tay route

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So, from all of us here at the Hydro, we hope you have a wheelie-good Bike Week… (Sorry, had to be done!)

The Day of the Dad Joke

Oh dear… we forgot… it’s Father’s Day this weekend!

Ah well, not to worry – there’s a little bit of a grace period with dad’s as they probably won’t know it’s Father’s Day until someone reminds them anyway! Thankfully there’s still time to rustle up some cards and presents and give a big shout out to the old man…

To mark the occasion (and get around the fact we forgot) we’ve decided to examine and celebrate one of the oldest traits of the fathering world – brace yourselves people because today, we’re talking DAD JOKES!

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Where would we be without the hilarious ‘benefits’ our fathers add to our lives? For generations these attempts at humour have been handed down to the next proud father in line, ready to take up the reigns as funniest-dad. It’s as if the mere mention of pregnancy salutes the disappearance of the male understanding of comedy, into the dark abyss of dad jokes.

In dissecting the bad dad joke, we were left with one unanswerable question. What exactly is being handed down here? Is it the jokes in themselves – the physical content we are subjected to, or is it the delivery – the way of telling them that only a father can that really makes ‘The Dad Joke’? The smug little chortle that follows it – the expectant look around the room for gratitude after?

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Either way, they are a fundamental part of any father-child relationship and they just don’t get enough appreciation… Of course, we’d never tell our dads that!

In order to celebrate the delightful past-time, we have put together a short list of the different types of dad joke, which we all certainly know and (given time) learn to love.

 

The ‘Classic’ Dad Joke…

Providing the world with a sturdy combination of the finest wit and a character building comedic put down. Essential to the ‘classic’ is that it is all pulled off while wearing the smuggest of smug expressions: “Me: ‘So, I was thinking…
’

Dad: ‘I thought I smelled something burning.’”

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Ahhh yes, a classic indeed.

Next up, The ‘Cringer’…

The cringer (usually involving a hilarious pun) seems to pop up most throughout our teenage years.

For some unknown reason, dads seem to be able to really home in on those moments when we are most vulnerable, and make it so that we desire the ground to swallow us whole. Whether it be bringing a new love interest to the house or even just a new friend, you can guarantee on dad coming out with something along the lines of: “Don’t kiss your wife with a runny nose. You might think it’s funny, but it’s snot.”

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…Cheers dad.

The One Where He Smashes It Out of the Park…

Finally, it’s our biggest fear, he’ll be dining out on this chestnut for weeks. Years can pass and this joke will be recycled time and again… You’ve been subjected to these awful attempts at humour since the day you were born. Why is it that somehow, against all odds, the dad joke manages to be completely on point when there is a larger audience…?

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If you’ve got any particularly hilarious dad jokes then share them with us on our Facebook page and we can admire the dark art together…

Happy Father’s Day everyone, and long may ‘The Dad Joke’ continue!

Our Bad!

We’re not perfect. There, we said it.

Despite our best efforts, sometimes we make mistakes and when we do, we hold our hands up and say “our bad”. Or, you know, something a little more caring. Either way, we admit to our faults and do our best to put things right.

But sometimes, it’s not so easy for us to apologise…

  1. The time we ruined Christmas…

We once received a complaint (in March!) from a gentleman that was looking for some compensation after he didn’t get to eat a single bite of his Christmas lunch. Not so much as a pig in blanket!

The reason? Because he’d eaten so much at our self-service breakfast buffet on Christmas morning that he couldn’t face eating his lunch hours later…

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Erm, our bad?

  1. TV trouble…

A guest made the trip down to Reception at around 10pm one night to complain that he was having some pretty serious issues watching television and, just in case we thought he was fibbing, he brought evidence…

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The issue was that, when lying down flat on the bed, he was struggling to see the wall mounted TV at the end of the bed because his feet were in the way. We did try our best to argue but he had photographic evidence so that was it, case closed! We politely suggested that he move his feet or perhaps sit slightly higher than horizontal – absolutely unacceptable. So, yes…

Our bad.

  1. Breakfast in bed?

The phone goes at Reception – it’s the guest from room 311. They’ve just had breakfast in bed delivered to them… Uh oh! Not another Englishman who doesn’t understand Lorne sausage? No. It’s not that…

*Phone rings*

“Hello, you’ve reached Wendy at Reception. How can I help?”

“Hi, we’ve just had our breakfast in bed delivered to the room. Is it OK if we eat it on the chair by the desk instead and not actually in bed?”

“Erm yes, of course. You could even eat it in the bath if you’d like to!” *Laughter*

“Right, well you really should have made that clearer before now.”

*Hangs up*

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Once again, that’s our bad.

  1. We’ll have the chicken to go, please

A lady complained after we refused to allow her to make a room reservation here at the Hydro…

We should probably mention that when she had stayed with us previously she snuck a live chicken into her bedroom, ordered it room service, allowed it to peck, scratch and erm, well, make a mess all over one of our bedrooms causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage!

But regardless – that’s our bad.

Make your Mother’s Day

Make your Mother’s day by making your own Mother’s Day daffodil with the help of our Big Country team

Mother’s Day is without doubt one of the most important days on the calendar. The stakes are massive. If you forget it or don’t make enough of an effort, you can look forward to a fortnight of cold beans for dinner, a chore list as long as your arm and absolutely no pocket money whatsoever. You think we’re joking? We’re not. This is the voice of experience talking. Oh yes my friend, Mother’s Day is a serious business.

So, wipe that smile of your face, take your shoes off at door and listen closely – it’s arts and crafts time people!

Here’s what you need:

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Here’s what you do:

daffy collage

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Paper plate, pipe cleaner stem and leaves, a few layers of tissue paper petals (PVA glued, obviously. If your arts and crafts project doesn’t at some point involve PVA glue then you’re plainly doing it wrong!) and a splash of colour. It’s that simple.

We know what you’re thinking though – “What if this isn’t enough?! What if I’m in danger of drowning in cold beans?!”

Don’t worry, we’re not going to let that happen…

Gift vouchers galore!

You’re welcome.

Battle of the blues

When it comes to battling the January blues, there’s only one person here that we would turn too, our spa manager, Fiona. So before she jetted off to warmer climates, we asked her for her tips and tricks to get us through to spring:

January – yuck! Every part of my body is freezing cold and if one more person tells me it is snowing outside I will scream! Instead of cocooning myself in multiple layers, hot water bottles and sleeping until it’s spring I thought that it was time to go back to what I love – wellness. I should be able to beat the January blues! If you feel like I do, try some of these simple steps and see if something shifts for you, if it doesn’t don’t worry, spring is around the corner….I can feel it in-between my freezing toes.

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Take Care of Yourself
This is the perfect time to have long relaxing aromatherapy baths, use your favourite face mask or exfoliate every inch of your body. A little pampering can go a long way this time of year.

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Small Steps
If you feel like staying in bed all day do it, I know I would! One day of being super lazy can be comforting but it won’t do you much good in the long run. Taking small steps to lift your spirits will add up to big change over time. Get out in the fresh air (wrap up and head out for a walk), soak up the sun (if it’s out) and see your mood change in moments.

winter walks

Try a new recipe
I did this last week and what joy it can bring, share the meal with family or friends and you will feel better in no time. If you can avoid sugars and fats and find something balancing and satisfying it will leave you feeling healthier and brighter. If that doesn’t work, we’ve got free pudding!

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Gratitude
Find something to be grateful for each day. Write it down, say it out loud, dance around the living room singing it – do what you need to do and enjoy it. Today I am grateful that I can go home to a warm house, enjoy a home cooked dinner and relax in front of the TV and maybe even a cheeky glass of red wine!

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Thanks Fiona, let’s hope the daffodils are just around the corner.


Welcome to the Crieff News blog

For news and events in Crieff, Perthshire.

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